Hazelnut Cocoa Granola

I live my foodie life with one common theme. What can I do to make “x” (any given recipe) reflect the flavors of Nutella?

Okay this doesn’t exactly apply to things like fish or rice and grains or beans but most everything else (think sweets), it works. Just hear me out…

Oatmeal – add some chocolate and hazelnuts.

Pretzels – just dip those suckers in Nutella.

Cookies – definitely add some chocolate and hazelnuts. Maybe make some breakfast cookies.

Granola – add some chocolate and hazelnuts. It seems to be the only logical thing to do.

This recipe was inspired by the Joy the Baker Cookbook. But her recipe seemed like a little too much work, heating the wet ingredients in a saucepan and then combining with the dry…

Okay not really that much work but the less heating appliances to use the better. It’s been warmer (I’m using that term relatively, as in 75-80 degrees) in the city for multiple days now and most apartments don’t have AC, including mine. Oh and one of my fans broke. Thus apartment = sauna-esque.

Start with the dry ingredients. There’s oats under all that goodness along with almonds, coconut, cinnamon, cocoa powder, brown sugar, hazelnuts and wheat germ.

I decided to add hazelnuts and the wheat germ. Not to be confused with wheat cooties.

Okay, no one’s going to confuse them. I’m a CPA, we get 1-5 lames jokes a week. It comes with the title. I’ll cross number 1 off.

Add in the agave, oil, and vanilla. The cinnamon repels the liquid mixture… my nerd brain finds this fascinating.

Now, I can see why swallowing a tablespoon of cinnamon would be a terrible idea.  Because there are soooo many other reasons why it’s a good idea. Kids these days….

Combine it all together. It kind of starts to look like no-bake cookie batter without the peanut butter and butter (a.k.a. healthier) and it’s just as tasty. Make sure its all coated before spreading in a thin layer on a baking sheet and popping in the oven.

It’s so easy and delicious by itself as a snack but perfect with yogurt or milk too!

P.S. I realize I need to get some new bowls, not everything works in a red bowl and well, that’s all I got. Or maybe I’ll make more plate foods. I’ll let you know how this develops.

Here’s how to do it:

Chocolate Nut Granola

Inspired by Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

3 c. Oats

1/2 c. Slivered Almonds

1/2 – 3/4 c. Chopped Hazelnuts

1 c. Coconut

1/2 c. Wheat Germ

2 tbsp. Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 c. Brown Sugar

2/3 c. Agave Nectar

1/3 c. Canola Oil

1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 1-2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.

Combine all the dry ingredients and mix together. Add in the agave nectar and oil. Stir to thoroughly combine and coat all of the dry mixture.

Place on the baking sheets in a thin layer and bake until a deeper brown color, about 25 minutes. Flip the mixture 2-3 times during the baking process.

Let cool and then break apart. Serve as a snack by itself, with milk, or my favorite Greek yogurt. It will last in an airtight container for up to a week.

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All You Need is Love…. AND Nutella!

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I had the best-night-ever.

No, I didn’t get engaged or meet my soulmate, it’s much simpler than that….I left work at 6:45 and it’s mid-february. It an oxy-moron but it happened and I relished in it.

Love has been on my mind a lot lately. Not in the cheesy, I’m SO lonely sort of way. More in the way that I realized that I have so much love in my life and I am so lucky to be loved by so many people and sometimes I just don’t share it enough. It’s the concept of loving everyone and I mean EVERYONE. So much easier said then done.

My inspiration and motivation for this stems from a few Sunday sermons and a recent Bible study lesson on 1 Corinthians 13. It’s a passage often used in weddings but it goes FAR beyond 1 man and 1 woman.

1 Corinthians 13:3-8

“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”

Simply summarized: Love is everything and should be a part of everything or else we are nothing. It’s powerful stuff.

Now to the second most important part of Valentine’s day…. chocolate and in this case hazelnut and chocolate – Nutella Biscotti.

This batter…. it is also LOVE. Not the essential kind of love but love nonetheless. Make sure to save a tablespoon (or three) for yourself before you clean the bowl. We all do it so there’s no need to hide it. We’ll be better because of it.

And that batter, turns into this. It is so important when you make something with nuts that you can actually taste and see them. The consistency and the way it soaks up the coffee and softens is absolutely perfect.

Fittingly, World Nutella Day was February 5th. My new favorite holiday. I think we should get the day off so we can just stay home and bake Nutella goodies.

Nutella Biscotti

Adapted from Mignardise

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsps. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup Nutella
1 cup chopped hazelnuts (lightly toasted, I didn’t do this and it was still delish)
*The original recipe has 1/2 the hazelnuts and 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips but I just thought that might be too much for a morning treat.

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Beat eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add sugar and continue beating on high for 2 minutes. Stir in Nutella. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and blend thoroughly. Stir in chips and hazelnuts.
Wet your hands, then divide dough into 2 or 3 portions on the baking sheet. Shape each portion into a rectangle about 1/2″ thick.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and turn down the heat to 300F.
Using a serrated knife, cut slices about 1/3 to 1/2″ wide from each rectangle. Arrange slices cut side down on baking sheet and return to oven.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, turn biscotti over (onto other cut side) and bake an additional 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices. Remove to a wire to cool.

If you want to add that special touch (which you don’t really need but it sounds delicious), melt 1/2 cup chopped semisweet chocolate along with 1/4 cup Nutella in a microwave safe dish. When the cookies have cooled, spread a layer of the melted chocolate on their bottoms, using a small knife or off-set spatula. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts and allow to dry completely before storing in an airtight container. I think I kept mine for over a week and a half.